Events to explore connection between art, science

January 24, 2013 | Arts, Events, UToday
By Angela Riddel

“The Nexus: Exploring the Link Between Science and Art” is a series of exhibits and lectures presented by the Department of Art and the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

"Faux Galaxy" by Casey Becker is part of “The Nexus: Exploring the Link Between Science and Art” exhibit and is on display in Carlson Library.

“Faux Galaxy” by Casey Becker is part of “The Nexus: Exploring the Link Between Science and Art” exhibit and is on display in Carlson Library.

The exhibits will be displayed in the UT Center for the Visual Arts Gallery and Clement Gallery, and in Carlson Library on Main Campus.

The “Nexus” exhibition in the Center for the Visual Arts Gallery through Sunday, Feb. 3, will be unlike any other held by the department, according to Barbara Miner, associate professor of art: “It is planned as an organic, evolving ‘happening’ — an experiment.”

Students in the Department of Art, much like field scientists, are collecting, tagging, photographing, categorizing. They are amassing a body of knowledge on a topic of interest to them and, from that knowledge, searching for patterns and deriving meaning. Then they have to present what they discovered in a form of their choosing.

Ben Pond, lecturer of art and gallery director, added, “Through this process, students will be learning that creativity has connections not only to the visual arts but to every discipline. It’s designed to get them to more thoughtfully examine their worlds, and then to apply critical thinking skills as to how they will develop an installation that best presents what they learned or found.”

The display will morph over time, as new additions will be made weekly. Visitors are encouraged to return often to the ever-changing space as the event unfolds.

To celebrate the students’ efforts, an artists’ reception will be held Friday, Feb. 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Center for the Visual Arts Gallery.

The photographic work of artist and astronomer Dr. Tyler Nordgren — famous for his popular poster series for the National Park Service and award-winning photography of earthly and astronomical phenomenon — will be on display in the Center for the Visual Arts Clement Gallery from Friday, Feb. 15, through Friday, March 15.

As a guest of the UT Department of Physics and Astronomy, Nordgren will present a lecture Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. in Ritter Planetarium. Titled “Capturing Natural Night,” Nordgren’s talk will explore his photography of night skies in national parks and what is learned from “parks after dark.”

The exhibit on the first floor of Carlson Library features three distinct bodies of student work: digitally created faux galaxies, 3D chimera art developed with a MakerBot, and a variety of prints exploring cellular form.

The faux galaxies are photographic works of constructed “galaxies” created by students in the department’s digital media class taught by Sedar Burns, lecturer of art. The faux galaxies were generated from the universe of the students’ imaginations. The students’ chimera works are hybrid designs created with 3D imaging software and then constructed with a MakerBot, which re-produces the images in 3D form in plastic.

The exhibit in Carlson Library will remain up throughout most of spring semester.

The Department of Art also will hold a lecture in March presented by Rosamond Purcell, an internationally acclaimed artist and photographer, praised for her work exploring nature in all its forms. The Massachusetts-based “doyenne of decay” will show and discuss her widely exhibited work, which explores natural history and the processes of the natural world. For more information about her work, visit

For more information on these free, public events, contact Miner at or 419.530.8315 or Pond at

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